The Easy Steaming Hack To Cook Veggies And Pasta At The Same Time

For many of us, the thought of preparing a wholesome dinner after a long day can seem daunting, especially when it involves multiple dishes. However, a simple kitchen hack can revolutionize the way you cook, making the process quicker and more efficient. This is where the magic of steaming vegetables over boiling pasta comes in. The concept is straightforward yet ingenious. You cook your pasta in a pot, and at the same time, steam your vegetables right above it.

To achieve this, all you need is a pot, a steamer basket that fits snugly into it, and a lid. Start by boiling water in a large pot for your pasta. At the same time, prepare your vegetables. Opt for veggies that steam well, like broccoli, snow peas, carrots, or cauliflower. Cut them into evenly sized pieces to ensure they cook uniformly.

Once the water is boiling, add your pasta. Place the prepared veggies in the steamer basket and sit this atop the pot, just above the simmering noodles. If you don't have a steamer basket, you can use a metal strainer or even a cooling rack to hold the veggies. Now cover the pot with a lid to trap the steam, as this is what cooks the vegetables. If you're using a flat cooling rack, you'll need a deeper lid. Monitor the cooking process, and once they are ready, remove the veggies and strain your pasta. Serve them together, tossed with your favorite sauce, herbs, or seasonings.

Vegetables you can steam using this method

This steaming hack is versatile and can be used with a wide range of vegetables, allowing for a variety of healthy, delicious meals. While broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower are common choices, many other vegetables steam beautifully using this method. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the steaming time for the veggies should be similar to the pasta's cooking time. 

Green beans are a fantastic option. They come out vibrant and crisp-tender. Just trim the ends and steam them over your pasta for a lovely side or mix-in. Similarly, zucchini and summer squash can be sliced and steamed to perfection. If you're looking for something with a bit more bite, try Brussels sprouts. Halved or quartered, depending on their size, these can add a nutty flavor to your meal. Asparagus is another excellent choice. Trim the woody ends and lay the spears in the steamer basket for a classy addition to any pasta dish.

Leafy greens like spinach and kale can also be steamed this way, though they cook much quicker than other vegetables. Therefore, add them towards the end of your pasta's cooking time. For a heartier option, consider root vegetables like small diced sweet potatoes or parsnips. These may take a bit longer to steam, so start steaming them a few minutes before you add the pasta to the water.